Audi and Volvo celebrate milestones

Audi sells six millionth model while Volvo marks passing of the XC90

Celebrations, one boisterous, the other more reflective, are underway in Ingolstadt and Gothenburg as both Audi and Volvo mark some auspicious product milestones. In Audi's case, it is the selling of its six-millionth model, a metallic grey SQ5 TDI with Quattro four-wheel drive.

Impressively, Audi has hit the six-millionth Quattro sale just 18 months after passing the five-millionth mark. "Dynamism and sportiness, the utmost technical precision and safety – that's what Audi's Quattro technology stands for," said Dr Hubert Waltl, board of management member for production at Audi.

Quattro was originally introduced to conquer the world of rallying and in 1980 the Quattro rally car made its two-wheel drive opposition look pedestrian. Forty-four per cent of Audi buyers currently tick the Quattro box, while 2,200 cars roll off production lines every day.

Meanwhile, as it gears up for the launch of the all-new XC90 this year, Volvo is marking the passing of the current XC90 which has reached the end of its production run after 12 years and 686,000 sales. Based on the original S80 saloon, the XC90 was seen as a major risk for Volvo as it seemed to be entering the SUV market rather late in the day. A version of the current XC90, built in and exclusively for China, will remain in production badged as the XC Classic.

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring